Enabling customers to leave the premises with a fully charged mobile phone is shifting from a novel perk to a fairly routine restaurant extra, like bread service or free drink refills. Here’s a look at how several places are providing the amenity.
A two-unit arcade-bar in Chicago.
Charging set-up: The concept’s second outlet, in the River North area of the city, is installing a cellphone check-in station, built from an old card catalog like the cabinets libraries once used. Guests who check their phones upon entry are given a cocktail on the house, and have the devices charged while they're there.
Full-service barbecue joint in the midst of a sweeping update.
Charging set-up: Paper towel holders on every table in the bar are equipped with USB ports, which can be used to recharge phones. The holders also have speakers for guests to use as their own tabletop jukeboxes.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Washington, D.C.
A new, less-formal prototype for the high-end steak house concept.
Charging set-up: Outlets for recharging phones and tablets are within a normal cord’s length of virtually all 400 seats, according to management.
Chef Jose Garcias’ cutting-edge restaurant in Philadelphia.
Charging set-up: A tasting menu includes a “charger course,” whereby the server brings a rapid charger to the table, as if it was another course of the meal.
Select units of the coffee giant in the Boston and San Francisco areas.
Charging set-up: At certain units, wireless charging rings are being inlaid in tables and counters. Customers lay their phones on the rings for a quick recharge. In tests, about 10 of the devices were reportedly installed per store. It's an amenity Starbucks eventually plans to extend nationwide.